It comes as no surprise that the teams that reap the benefits of a successful summer or winter transfer window typically spend top dollar for their newest acquisitions. Here are the teams who saw an immediate impact from new signings in the transfer window.
Ronaldo, Manchester United to Real Madrid 2009
It had to be Ronaldo. The €94m summer transfer from Manchester United to Real Madrid in the summer of 2009 is still one of the world’s biggest blockbusters. Ronaldo’s nine seasons at Real Madrid proved to be amazingly productive. He helped Los Blancos win four Champions League titles, two Copa Del Rey, and two La Liga.
Zinedine Zidane, Juventus to Real Madrid 2001
The team and player are synonymous with each other. Zidane joined Real Madrid as part of the club’s sweep for Galacticos. The €77.5 million transfer paid immediate dividends, with Zidane scoring one of his most memorable goals in the Champions League final with a volley against Bayer Leverkusen.
Wesley Sneijder, Real Madrid to Inter Milan 2009
Sold to Inter Milan for a mere €15m, Dutch midfielder Wesley Sneijder made an immediate impact on Internazionale. In his first year with the squad, Sneijder helped the team win the Treble including Champions League, Serie A, and the Coppa Italia. The following year he earned a 4th place finish in the Ballon d'Or and led the team to another Coppa Italia. Unfortunately, injuries nagged him in his last years with the club.
Arjen Robben, Real Madrid to Bayern Munich 2009
In an effort to rejigger the squad, Real Madrid transferred Dutch winger Arjen Robben to Bayern Munich for €25 million. Robben hit the ground running, earning Footballer of the Year in Germany and helping the Bundesliga title and Germany Cup trophy. Robben also played an instrumental role in the victorious 2012/13 Champions League season.
Gigi Buffon, Lilian Thuram, and Pavel Nedved to Juventus 2001
The 2001 Summer transfer window was a boon for Juventus. Having sold Zinedine Zidane to Real Madrid, the squad made three key signings that changed the course of the club. Juventus signed both Gigi Buffon and Lilian Thuram from Parma and Pavel Nedved from Lazio. Juventus won back to back Serie A titles and finished runners-up in the 2002/03 Champions League final.
Gareth Bale, Tottenham to Real Madrid 2013
In the summer of 2013, Gareth Bale broke the transfer record with a €101m signing to Real Madrid. He helped Los Blancos win both the Copa Del Rey and Champions League in his first season with the club. The Wales international has won three additional Champions League title plus one La Liga title since.
Dennis Bergkamp, Inter Milan to Arsenal 1995
The arrival of Dennis Bergkamp to Arsenal from Inter Milan in 1995 revived a struggling Gooners team. While Bergkamp got off to a slow start, he benefited from the innovative style of play of newly assigned manager Arsene Wenger. Together with Wenger, Bergkamp went on to win four FA Cups and three Premier League titles including Arsenal’s 2003/04 unbeaten season.
8 Xabi Alonso and Luis Garcia, Liverpool 2004
In Rafa Benitez's first transfer window as Liverpool manager, he signed two Spanish players — Xabi Alonso and Luis Garcia — that made all the difference in the team’s run to the Champions League trophy during the 2004/05 season.
Luis Suarez to Barcelona from Liverpool 2014
After winning Player of the Year in the Premier League during the 2013/14, Luis Suarez took his talents to Barcelona where he continued his goal-scoring spree with teammates Neymar and Messi. The hard-working and physical attacker has scored 113 goals in 137 La Liga appearances. On top of his prolific goal-scoring record, he’s won a Champions League, three La Liga titles, and is a three-time Spanish Cup winner with Barcelona.
10 Neymar to Barcelona from Santos
In a transfer fee worth €86.2 million, Neymar signed from Santos to Barcelona with high hopes for his continued development and success. Along with teammates Messi and Suarez, he formed the powerful trio that won the Treble during the 2014/15 season for Barcelona. He ended his tenure with Barcelona with two Trebles and scored 68 goals in 123 appearances.
11 Mesut Ozil, Real Madrid to Arsenal 2013
Signed during the 2013 winter transfer window for £42.4m, the creative German playmaker Mesut Ozil helped Arsenal recover its dip in form. He has since helped guide the team to three FA Cup trophies in his first five seasons with the club.